CMS’ (Omeka & Greenstone)

“It is difficult to propose one specific DL system as the most suitable for all cases. Each system has its advantages and drawbacks… categorized by basic DL system characteristics and features.” (Pyrounakis & Nikolaidou, 2009)

As defined in the article by the authors above, there are a number of aspects that institutions need to consider when choosing a content management system for a digitization project. Selecting a CMS reflects the needs of the institution and the project. Unsurprisingly, each CMS has strengths and weaknesses, which is reflected by the types of institutions they target with their services. 

The two CMS’ we focused on this week, Omeka and Greenstone, are good examples of different options available for digitization projects. The beauty of Omeka lies in the simplicity and flexibility offered by their system, which in turn allows it to be used for many different types of digitization projects. This, among other reasons makes it a good choice for smaller collections, and the ease of use means that a greater range of employees at a given institution may take part in the process. Greenstone is fairly easy to use as well, but is designed for more specific types of collections (books). The advantage of this type of specialized CMS (and Greenstone in particular) is that it results in large digital collections with entirely searchable content. Though they each have strengths and weaknesses, both systems are useful for the institutions that utilize them. Certainly, their differences help illustrate the fact there is no one ideal CMS available that can effectively address the needs of every institution.

Moreover, I don’t see the lack of a CMS that can handle any and all collections as being a problem. Rather, I believe there should be CMS’ that deal with specialized types of collections, especially if they are larger ones dealing with very specific content. Having a CMS that is better tailored towards certain types of institutions and their holdings will ultimately lead to better quality digital collections.


Thoughts on Omeka:

Taking a look at Omeka this week was informative and enjoyable. I found creating an account to be straightforward and the steps for posting content to be very user-friendly. Having little experience with actually creating digital collections thus far I was pleasantly surprised by how uncomplicated the experience was (the same goes for WordPress…). Looking forward to tackling the mini-collection assignment!


2 responses to “CMS’ (Omeka & Greenstone)

  1. I really agree with you about the usability of both Omeka and WordPress. Last semester I used WordPress for a digital library project. It was the first time I had ever used a CMS and I was really nervous at first but after working with it a little bit I was able to figure it out. I was really surprised at how easy it was to use. After looking at the Omeka tutorial, I saw that it looked pretty user friendly, just like WordPress, and I am also looking forward to working with it.

  2. It is a case where ease is not always a bad thing! I like your point regarding specialized CMS’ for specialized materials. So many collections have numerous different types of materials to catalog, so having a system in-place for them would be extremely helpful. Harking back to last week and the topic of DPLA, the implementation of user-friendly simple CMS’ that is that users will be able to more adeptly search and find information. The problems occur when (as Sarah has mentioned) more time is spend on the technical side than actually uploading/entering document information.

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